Nigerian Footballer Odion Ighalo: How A Mother Helped Raise A Star

Odion Ighalo recently spoke to CNN about
growing up from humble beginnings. Growing
up in Ajegunle, gangs were rife and
opportunities scarce. Ighalo had to scrape
together the money to ride the bus to matches
— sometimes, there wasn't enough.
Now, the 26-year-old striker is one of the
Premier League's top performers after his
torrent of goals for Watford last season
catapulted the team into England's top flight.
This season the Nigerian has netted 14 goals in
26 league appearances and his efforts haven't
gone unnoticed by the league's top clubs —
Manchester United hold an interest in the
striker, according to reports in the British media.
Besides his hard work — and ardent faith in
God — Ighalo puts his success down to the
belief of one woman.

"I have a Mum that supported me right from the
beginning," he revealed. "It was not easy
coming up from there. You're training on a mud
ground and all that, sometimes you train
"My mum bought me my first pair of football
shoes — I can remember they were Copa
Mondials. In Nigeria, you have to pay for water
you drink, pay for transport to go training. You
have to pay for everything.
"My mum afforded me what [she] could …
sometimes it wasn't enough to travel to play
games outside the city. She supported me right
from day one."
If it wasn't for his mother, the star revealed he
may not have continued to play football at all.
"Sometimes my Dad wanted to spank me when
I went to play football, when I didn't do my
homework and all that," he said. "They would
argue. My mum said, 'You have to leave him if
he wants to play football.'"
For now, the diligent striker is pouring his
ambition into Watford. He's got big dreams for
the team, which sits ninth in England's top
"Look at Leicester, they are flying. If I told you
on the first day of the League that Leicester
would be where they are now, I think you
would slap me.
"We can't say now, but I believe one day, we
can win the League and why not the
Champions League. It's football. It's a game.
Anything can happen."



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Benue Blog Portal: Nigerian Footballer Odion Ighalo: How A Mother Helped Raise A Star
Nigerian Footballer Odion Ighalo: How A Mother Helped Raise A Star
Benue Blog Portal
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